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Savings on Mortgage or Rent

What is the value of your home today? Is your mortgage paid off? If not, what is your monthly payment?

According to a Consumer Financial Protection Bureau analysis of 2010 census data, at least 30% of Americans over the age of 65 had a mortgage, compared with 20% in 2001.

While it varies wildly across the US, every month the average homeowner spends about $800/month on monthly mortgage or rental payments.  This does not include the cost of condo or HOA dues!

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Savings on Living or Home Operating Costs

This includes expenses such as home maintenance costs, utilities, property taxes and insurance, housekeeping supplies or services, and emergency alarm systems.

A Place for Mom estimates that the monthly out of pocket expenses for a senior living in a home with a value of $150,000 is about $1100.  For a home with a value of $500,000 these combined expenses total about $3000!

Savings on Caregiving & Medical Services

Are your friends and family helping? Home health care is an expensive option for care and service. Consider including the monthly cost of transportation, lodging and other incidentals in your calculations.

In most parts of the country, home health care costs about $20 per hour and many companies have a 2 – 3 hour minimum.  Consider that expense times a factor of 4-7 days of regular caregiver visits!  Even at just 3 hours per day, 30 days per month, this adds up quickly to a total of $1800.

And imagine if you or your loved one need 12 or even 24 hour a day care.

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Savings on Activities & Entertainment Costs

Most people forget about their monthly entertainment budgets when calculating cost of living.  But don’t fall into that trap!  This is your third act, your time to thrive and learn and grow.

Don’t forget to include the cost of that pottery class you love, the dance troupe you just joined or Sunday brunches with the girls. A number of resources suggest that most seniors spend around $250 per month on these costs.

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Savings on Technology

Land lines, internet, and cable TV can really add up!  Living on your own means paying independently for these services every month. For many this so-called “triple play” can exceed $250 per month.

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Savings on Regular Transportation

Trips to the doctor and the grocery store really add up, too.  One study estimates seniors’ average monthly transportation cost at $715.

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Savings on Groceries

Don’t forget the cost of food, vitamins and critical dietary needs! And unfortunately the healthier you eat, the more you’ll spend. For most seniors, the cost of three meals per day at home is nearly $500 per month!